Video: Wherever Mastectomy Scars Raged, A Tattooed Back garden Blooms : Shots – Hifow

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Within weeks of remaining diagnosed with breast cancer at 29 several years previous, Nicole O’Hara of Phoenix, Md., underwent a double mastectomy. She had breast reconstruction through the identical procedure then it was on to chemotherapy.

The ordeal left O’Hara with “huge, hideous, crimson infected scars and stitches and drains,” she suggests.

“It [was] a battlefield.”

After Nicole O’Hara was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 29, she had a double mastectomy. The surgical procedures left her with scarring that she resolved to include with an inventive tattoo.

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Meredith Rizzo/NPR

After Nicole O’Hara was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 29, she had a double mastectomy. The surgical procedures left her with scarring that she resolved to include with an inventive tattoo.

Meredith Rizzo/NPR

The scars spread throughout her upper body where by the incisions were made and the chemo port was put. As she healed at property, people scars remained.

“To be reminded of people each time you search in the mirror can be tough,” she suggests. “You are hoping to go earlier that position in your lifetime.”

O’Hara’s plastic surgeon laid out the reconstruction possibilities: She could have nipples created from her personal skin or areola and nipple shading tattooed to search like the serious thing. But as an alternative of re-producing what she had dropped, she resolved to do some thing extra inventive.

She worked with a friend to style a tattoo and, 4 several years immediately after the mastectomy surgical procedures, took it to Lisa Doll, the owner of Rose Red Tattoo in Ellicott Metropolis, Md. Doll specializes in tattooing above scar tissue that is normally discolored, uneven and thinner than normal skin, generating it tricky to keep pigmentation. The skin typically needs at minimum a calendar year to heal before it is all set. And even then, scarring may possibly be far too considerable.

O’Hara’s tattoo essential three sessions with Lisa Doll to comprehensive the line perform and coloration shading. Doll suggests that customers “get these tattoos to stand for things about on their own. It turns into an empowering thing for them, an expressive thing.”

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O’Hara’s tattoo essential three sessions with Lisa Doll to comprehensive the line perform and coloration shading. Doll suggests that customers “get these tattoos to stand for things about on their own. It turns into an empowering thing for them, an expressive thing.”

Meredith Rizzo and Morgan McCloy/NPR

But a tattoo can be an empowering selection for folks who have had a mastectomy, Doll suggests.


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